No scanner and no computer, what to do?

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No scanner and no computer, what to do?

Postby kytes » August 20th, 2017, 1:41 pm

Hi i'm new, and I've had a comic idea for a few years but i don't have a scanner, and I don't have a computer that can install programs to draw on (it's a Chromebook). Honestly i don't think I'm very good at digital art anyway but I did try some chrome apps that didn't really have what i needed to make a comic.

My question is : is there any way to digitalise my comic? If i dn't have a scanner, the best i can do is take pics on my phone. I tried a scanner app but it made it TOO scannery (to much level). So my test strip just looks like some lazy scanned thing! it's kind of ugly. Do you guys recommend anything i may not know about? or am I just like hoping for impossible? :lol:
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Re: No scanner and no computer, what to do?

Postby WildfireK » August 20th, 2017, 1:47 pm

There's a website caled Pixlr that my friend Holly uses to make her comics, have you tried that yet?

(She uses a chromebook too)
Last edited by WildfireK on August 20th, 2017, 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No scanner and no computer, what to do?

Postby Hornmeister » August 20th, 2017, 1:50 pm

If you want to upload comics, or do anything at all for that matter, you need sufficient equipment. If you want to digitalize your comics, you either need to get a scanner, camera, or app (with a phone that can actually run it), doesn't even need to be a decent one, but making some investment or another will be inevitable. if you're lucky, someone in your vicinity or online wants to get rid of their used stuff.
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Re: No scanner and no computer, what to do?

Postby eishiya » August 20th, 2017, 2:17 pm

I want to add that uploading a comic isn't a necessary step in making comics. You can start making your comic right now even though you can't digitize it. Having an audience is nice, getting critique is even nicer, but they're not necessary. So, make your comic! You can always upload it at a later point - and hey, you'll even have a buffer of pages, something a lot of webcomic artists dream of ;D

Unfortunately for comic makers, with webcomics, presentation matters. If your webcomic isn't scanned well (e.g. is photographed and parts are blurry or dark), or is made with tools that you're clearly not well-versed in, or has poor lettering and wonky panelling, that will hurt readers' ability to enjoy the comic. If you care about having readers, you'll need to invest in the tools you need to make a nice-looking comic. If you don't - then that's great, you don't need to worry about scanning and uploading the comic at all :D

Scanners are quite cheap these days (there are decent ~$25 flatbed scanners out there), and apparently Chromebooks do support scanners now. If you decide you want a scanner, check whether ChromeOS supports the specific scanner you want to buy before you spend the money.
If you have money, I highly recommend buying a computer that can run some of the more widely-used graphics editors, as even traditionally-drawn comics generally require a digital pass to look their best.
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Re: No scanner and no computer, what to do?

Postby The_Hankerchief » August 21st, 2017, 6:07 am

Seconding eishiya.

Consider it this way: if you really want to get into webcomics, this could be a head start. Use the time you have between now and whenever you can get your hands on a scanner/printer to bust out your pages. Doesn't matter if you do them all by hand, or just do lines and color digitally later. Building yourself a buffer of finished (of even partially finished) pages now will give you leeway so you'll have a little more flexibility in planning a drawing schedule, whereas if you're publishing each page as soon as you crank it out, you're either going to have to lock yourself into a permanent routine or risk missing an update deadline. There's no real penalty in that, but if it happens often enough, your reader's attention will drift elsewhere and you might just give up altogether. That's a fairly common occurrence here.

Now, there are ways around not having a scanner at home. Public Libraries, Lazerquik stores, FedEx stores, even Walmart's Photo Center will let you scan stuff to either a thumb drive or a disc (in the case of the latter three, they may charge a fee, but the public library might let you do it free of charge as long as you have a library card--I did that for a while, while I was traveling). And as far as image editing programs that you can put onto a Chromebook, you can try GIMP (what I use), Photoshop, I think Manga Studio, and there might be a few others, but I don't know if they're Mac compatible. Worst case scenario, you can do what I do with my WIP pages; take a picture with your phone (if you have a smartphone) or a camera, upload it to a computer and post it (don't even need to upload it onto a computer if you have a smart phone with Internet access on it).

Anyway, good luck, and welcome to Smack Jeeves!
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Re: No scanner and no computer, what to do?

Postby WindowMaker » August 22nd, 2017, 2:21 am

1) Regarding photo shooting instead of scanning:

As you said you aren't good at doing digital art, taking a picture with your phone is an inferior but still reasonable alternative: I have read serveral webcomics that are made this way. Though if you have access to point-n-shoot camera, or a full-blown DSLR with tripod, use them instead of your phone.

One thing to be seriously paid attention to when you take photo instead of scanning is: the artwork must be intensely (and evenly) lit while you take the shot, and your camera should be perpendicular to the artwork. If you failed to do these, your artwork will look skewed, murky, difficult to read, and no amount of post-processing will help.

(Fluorescent light from the ceiling is not good enough for this, though your reading lamps maybe; outdoor noon daylight is probably the best, but you have to find a way to lay your artwork in 45-degree so your camera didn't cast shadow on it)

If you did it right, the photo itself could be adequate for posting as comic with no or very little post-processing. Your mileage will vary, of course.

Anyhow, the resulting page would be nowhere as good as ones from a scanner, so you need to be careful on the size of lettering and level of details you put into your comic; this is especially true if you used your phone's camera. And don't throw your original sheets away in case you would like to re-master it later when you have proper equipments.

2) Regarding scanner and Chromebook:

If you would like to buy a scanner for using with Chromebook, whether using ChromeOS or full-fledged GNU/Linux OSes, you must choose only scanner models that shown up positive on SANE Project's list of supported devices; otherwise you will just waste your money.

And mine? I'm using the inexpensive Canon CanoScan LiDE 210 flatbed scanner- which of course, specifically shopped for SANE support.

Alternatives? Use ones at local library, net cafe, or other stores like @The_Hankerchief mentioned (before I got my own scanner, I used to use them at my university's facility), but that will come with the cost of inconvenience.

3) Regarding post-processing and Chromebook:

I'm not sure if there are serious image editing packages available on ChromeOS or not; but your choices are likely to be very limited. On the other hand, if you installed a full GNU/Linux OS on your Chromebook, the default choice would be GNU GIMP (free), which many artists use.

4) Side notes and digital alternatives:

I didn't have scanner and graphics tablet when I started doing drawing too; and I worked around that by going vector instead. I started out with Macromedia Flash (currently known as Adobe Animate), but today I settled with Inkscape (free). Again, if you would like to use Inkscape on Chromebook, you need to install a full GNU/Linux OS.

Though I have a scanner now, I rarely use it for my artwork as they are all-digital; and vector art files use much less disk space.
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Re: No scanner and no computer, what to do?

Postby kytes » August 22nd, 2017, 10:42 pm

Thank you everyone for your replies!! i learnt a lot, but especially that I need good equipment to do the things that other artists can do. And that i could still draw my comic and get it digital later!! to be honest, i never thought of it like that lol. I know lots of webcomic artists in particulr kind of always have a deadline looming, so this way seems even more easier.

thank you so much!! i knew asking you guys would be a good idea :)
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Re: No scanner and no computer, what to do?

Postby mitchellbravo » August 23rd, 2017, 9:36 am

Best of luck, kytes!
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Re: No scanner and no computer, what to do?

Postby JakiraJurosawa » October 27th, 2017, 8:41 pm

Psst! I'm in a similar sinario and I have a really good way to make lineart look good with just an iPhone:3
https://youtu.be/Fn3-nGLAz50
I'm not just advertising here this has help me soooo much^^
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